'Get down and grubby' role

The port can be a dirty environment. Credit - Pithawat Vachiramon
The port can be a dirty environment. Credit - Pithawat Vachiramon
"You can’t train people for challenging environments and circumstances," Andrew Feakins, Impact People Strategies
Industry Database

Finding the right person for a top management job comes with a lot of variables, says Andrew Feakins, managing director of the global recruitment specialist Impact People Strategies.

“In our role, it is very much about identifying the right individual for the right company at the right time, for the right job in the right location that suits him or her and their family. You don’t expect someone at the top of their game or an industry guru to go to a dangerous or uncertain part of the world. It is the highest skilled individual who is prepared to do the job and willing to go.

“You can’t train people for challenging environments and circumstances and I think this is one of the reasons why the ports sector is one of the most fascinating and interesting markets – because it still retains a significant element of ‘real people’. It is still ‘get down and get grubby’ if you need to.

"In a tough situation, a guy with less education may be far better equipped to handle dock workers if he has strong communication skills, and may be more capable of inspiring stevedores and getting the unions on his side. He doesn’t necessarily need to be an Oxford graduate to enable him to relate to their issues.”

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